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Michael McGovern

NCFC logo
Norwich Career: 2016-23  (42 appearances)
Current Club: Livingston (Scotland) (on loan from Hearts (Scotland))
Date of Birth: 12/7/1984 (Enniskillen)
Nationality: Northern Irish


32 year old Northern Irish international goalkeeper Michael McGovern signed a three year contract with Norwich on a free transfer on 19th July 2016. He had worked with City manager Alex Neil at Hamilton. "I had some interest from elsewhere, but I'm really looking forward to working with him again now at Norwich. It's nice to join a club where I'll have some familiar faces around me. I'm aiming to get into the team, but I know I'm up against some top-class goalkeepers. It's going to be intense competition, although it's a challenge I'll relish."

Born in Enniskillen, McGovern began his career with Scottish giants Celtic. He was loaned out to Stranraer in 2005 (19 appearances) and St Johnstone in 2006 (1 appearance) before leaving Celtic without a first team appearance. He joined Dundee United in 2008 but left after one season having not made a first team appearance. He signed for Scottish first division side Ross County for whom he made 71 appearances in two season including being a runner-up in the Scottish Cup in 2009/10. He moved in 2011 to fellow First Division side Falkirk on a free transfer and made 105 appearances over three seasons. He won the Scottish Challenge Cup with both Ross County and Falkirk. He then moved to Hamilton Academical in 2014 and made 75 appearances over two seasons. A free agent, he moved to Norwich in July 2016.

Capped by Northern Ireland at Under-19 (3 caps) and Under-21 level (10 caps), he made his international debut for Northern Ireland on 31st May 2010 in a 1-0 defeat to Chile. McGovern had to wait until 2015 for his second cap, after which he quickly became the number one goalkeeper for Northern Ireland, helping them qualify for Euro 2016 as qualifying group winners. He received plaudits for a series of "heroic saves" that restricted Germany to a 1–0 win during the group stages of the Euro 16 finals on 21 June 2016, keeping Northern Ireland's goal difference down and helping them qualify for the knockout round of 16

He made his Norwich debut on 13th August 2016 coming on as substitute for John Ruddy who had injured his groin in the 0-0 draw with Sheffield Wednesday. He retained his place for the 1-0 win over Bristol City on 16th June 2016. He ended up making 22 appearances for City in his inugural season at Carrow Road.

McGovern and Northern Ireland reached the play-off qualifiers for the Russia World Cup but lost 1-0 to Switzerland over two legs in November 2017.

McGovern made 5 appearances, all in the cups, during 2018/19 and signed a contract extension. He made a further three appearances during 2019/20.

Despite missing the second half of the 2020/21 season through injury, McGovern signed a new two year contract with City on 29th April 2021 which will include elements of mentoring and coaching the club's younger goalkeepers. Prior to his injury, he made 10 appearances during 2020/21 to take his Norwich career total to 41 appearances.

He made one solitary appearance in the FA Cup during 2021/22.

On 5th May 2023 it was reported that McGovern would leave Norwich at the end of the 2022/23 season. He had made 42 appearances in total.

On 14th July 2023 he becames Hearts' first signing of the summer 2023 transfer window, penning a one year contract with the possibility of a further year. He had been at Carrow Road with Hearts' technical director Steven Naismith. First choice Hearts keeper Craig Gordon remains on the long-term injury list with a double leg break sustained in December against Dundee United. McGovern will provide back-up to keeper Zander Clark, Hearts head coach Frankie McAvoy said his experience would be “invaluable” to younger members of the squad. “He’s got great character but, most importantly, he’s a first-class goalkeeper and you only need to look at the career he’s had to see that. He’ll push Zander all the way in the training as we head towards the start of the season, and I’m certain our young goalkeepers will find his experience invaluable.”

On 19th January 2024 he was loaned to Livingston for the remainder of the 2023/24 season. He had not made a competitive appearance for Hearts. “I’m delighted to bring Michael into the building," Livi manager David Martindale said. “He brings a wealth of experience into the dressing room and is a top professional on and off the park."

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